Partnership helps veterinary technology students

Western Colorado Community College (WCCC) has joined with the Amigo Animal Clinic and Mesa County Sheriff’s Posse in a collaboration to train veterinary technology program students.

Amigo Animal Clinic offers training and clinical space for the program as well as classroom space, advisory services and job opportunities.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Posse allows the use of its facilities near the college, including holding pens and covered examination spaces for large animals.

“Veterinary professionals of all kinds are needed in the Grand Valley at all animal clinics and hospitals. Working with and supporting students from WCCC is a great way to build that future capacity,” said Dominic Carrica, a veterinarian who owns Amigo Animal Clinic.

Amigo Animal Clinic is one of many area clinics supporting the WCCC veterinary technology program. Students complete clinical rotations at veterinary facilities across the Grand Valley. Students also work with the Roice Hurst Humane Society and Mesa County Animal Services.

The agreement with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Posse will accommodate students working with large animals.

“For more than 60 years the Mesa County Sheriff’s Posse has served the community and has worked to preserve agricultural heritage,” said Louis Polen, president of the posse board. “Our relationship with Western Colorado Community College represents a new chapter in our community service, and we are pleased to support vet tech students who are very much needed to care for the animals and livestock throughout Western Colorado.”

Anita Dennison, director of the veterinary technology program at WCCC, said veterinary technicians are a lot like nurses for animals. “Through this career building program, graduates can work with a diversity of animals and work in everything from zoos to farms and ranches as well as traditional pet or exotic animal clinics.”

Brigitte Sundermann, vice president of community college affairs at Colorado Mesa University, said the veterinary technology program received accreditation from the Colorado Higher Learning Commission.

The proximity of the Amigo Animal Clinic and sheriff’s posse facilities will further help students, Sundermann said. “Students who love working with animals will be able to earn classroom credit hours and then conduct their clinical work without a lot of travel or hassle. The support we have received from Amigo and the sheriff’s posse is taking our program to the next level.”